Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. They were never rebuilt, although surviving townspeople and probably looters did undertake extensive salvage work after the destructions. The towns' locations were eventually forgotten until their accidental rediscovery in the 18th century. The eruption also changed the course of the Sarno River and raised the sea beach, so that Pompeii was now neither on the river nor adjacent to the coast. Vesuvius itself underwent major changes – its slopes were denuded of vegetation and its summit changed considerably due to the force of the eruption. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world
The summit of Vesuvius is open to visitors and there is a small network of paths around the mountain that are maintained by the park authorities. There is access by road to within 200 metres (660 ft) of the summit (measured vertically), but thereafter access is on foot only. There is a spiral walkway around the mountain from the road to the crater.The walk would take a healthy person 25 minutes. Ghani insisted on completing the walk to the crater and huffed and puffed his way up in 45 minutes.
We were given a lift down by the keepers and Adrian was given a volcanic rock from the crater as a souvenir.